Emma Roo the Dalmation has been through more than you can possibly imagine. Born with a small toe defect, she was abandoned by breeders as a puppy. From there, she ended up in a Chinese dog meat slaughterhouse.
Thankfully, in 2017, Emma was rescued from a slaughterhouse in Xi’An. But by that time, her front legs had been removed, the tips of her ears were shaved off, and part of her tail was missing. The poor girl was only about 8 weeks old at the time.
Finally Getting The Love She Deserves
Emma Roo’s rescuers in Beijing reached out to Dalmatian Rescue of South Florida for help. They know she’d have a much better chance of getting adopted overseas. So Emma finally arrived in the U.S. in January 2020, just before the transport of animals was halted due to coronavirus.
Misha Rackcliff Hunt, a South Carolina resident, found a picture of the adoptable pup online. She knew she had to meet her.
“I remember first seeing Emma online – she has the most human-like amber colored eyes. I didn’t even think about the logistics of it. I knew this dog was sent to me for a reason.”
Hunt drove 5 hours from Charleston to pick up Emma Roo. She couldn’t believe how instantly friendly she was. She definitely made the right decision!
“When I met her, I thought she might be cold or not interested in people from the trauma but she came up straight into my arms. By the time we finished our five-hour road trip home, it’s like she knew I was her person and that I was never going to leave her.”
Emma Roo’s Long Road To Rehabilitation
Since Emma Roo had such a terrible start with people, she needed to learn that some are friendly. Unsurprisingly given her past, Emma Roo had an inherent fear of men. Introducing a male massage therapist helped her conquer that fear.
She also needed to adjust to certain terrifying saw-like sounds, like lawnmowers and vacuums.
“When I first brought her home, she would scream at the top of her lungs whenever I left the room. She was always protective over her food and toys. At one point, she would even guard random pieces of my clothing because she was scared that it would be taken away.”
Fortunately, Emma has the most patient, loving mom ever! Hunt also cares for another special needs dog. She advocates for differently-abled dogs and donates to organizations that help them.
“I try to also advocate for ‘differently-abled’ dogs. People always tell me how selfless and amazing I am but it’s really not that hard. People think you need to be a special kind of person, but I’m not special. I’m just someone who believes that every dog deserves a chance no matter their circumstances.”
It Takes A Village…
Hunt and Dalmatian Rescue raised money on social media to get Emma a custom front wheel cart from Eddie’s Wheels. Joey’s P.A.W, a non-profit Emma is now an ambassador for, connected Hunt with Bionic Pets. The latter fitted Emma for some custom-made prosthetics.
Wheels and prosthetics make her life a lot easier. Plus, Emma still does weekly strengthening swims and attends massage therapy.
“Emma has struggled with her cart and prosthetics because of the way she carries her body so we go to a local dog pool for water therapy. She has a massage to help with the tight muscles in her back.”
Hunt also knows she couldn’t have done all this for Emma without help. Bionic Pets, Joey’s P.A.W., and other like-minded dog lovers contributed so much to Emma’s recovery.
“We’re not the heroes, the dogs are the heroes. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are organizations out there who want to help you to give your dog the best life possible.”
Living The Life She Deserves
While she recovers and learns how to maneuver a bit better, Emma is living the best life she’s ever known. She has become especially fond of the beach.
“She doesn’t usually bear weight on her stumps unless it’s a soft surface. The beach is perfect for her because she can freely run around in the soft sand. I actually cried seeing how happy she was.”
As far as adopting and rehabilitating Emma, Hunt has zero regrets. Emma isn’t a burden, she’s a blessing, Hunt reiterates.
“I’ve heard so many people say she should’ve been euthanized because of her suffering but when I look at this twenty-five-pound, happy and smiling dog, I can’t imagine wanting to end her life.”